OrthoArts | Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics

New Patient FAQ

Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

Would you want your general physician doing your heart surgery? For most people the answer would be a resounding ‘NO’. Then why would you have your orthodontics done by anyone other than an orthodontic specialist? Orthodontists have 2-3 years additional training after dental school that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. Straightening teeth is their life! Since teeth, and in many cases the entire facial complex, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment, it is important that the diagnosis be appropriate and that the treatment be properly completed. The difference is in the results.

Can orthodontics be started while a child still has baby teeth?

Absolutely. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

What is considered an emergency appointment and how are those handled?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office immediately. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you whether we are currently in the office or not. An orthodontic assistant is always only a phone call away, even after hours.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Braces make oral hygiene a bit trickier. Patients should brush their teeth at least three times each day, once after every meal, but it’s not just the frequency that matters. We focus from the start on teaching proper brushing and flossing techniques. Sometimes we’ll even schedule a separate appointment just to work on keeping your teeth and gums healthy! We also highly recommend use of a Waterpik throughout treatment.

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will go over your instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, popcorn and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by simply avoiding crunchy and sticky foods, which will lead to a better overall result and you getting your braces off quicker!

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces; in fact Dr. G usually recommends you see your dentist for cleanings a little more often while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your family dentist will help determine the intervals between cleanings and watch for cavities while you are in braces.

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, especially the first one, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil or Aleve can help ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not really feel any soreness at all! This is in part due to the fact that we use light, continuous forces which results in more comfortable appointments. We often remind our patients, “It doesn’t have to hurt to work!”

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

For most routine adjustment appointments, the answer is ‘Yes’. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. For certain kinds of appointments, such as putting braces on, taking them off, and surgical procedures, we will need a parent or guardian to be present for the whole visit.